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Little League Museum Patrons Support Local Toys for Tots Program

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Dec. 18, 2006) – Anyone bringing a new, unwrapped toy with a value of at least $10 to the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pa., experienced the joy of giving as well as of receiving this holiday season.

The museum and the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program joined forces to make the holidays brighter for everyone.

Each visitor who brought a qualifying toy with them to the museum was admitted free of charge for supporting the local Toys for Tots program. In addition, the museum offered participating visitors 10 percent off a purchase of $20 or more made at the museum gift shop on the day of the visit.

“It was a win-win situation,” Janice L. Ogurcak, director of the museum, said. “Children in this area received toys from The Williamsport Detachment Marine Corps League and donors had the opportunity to tour the museum at no additional charge.”

About 450 toys valued at nearly $1,500 were collected at the museum. Donations for the Toys for Tots program were given to the Salvation Army for local distribution.

Williamsport’s Hepburn-Lycoming Elementary School donated new toys valued at more than $1,000 to Little League Museum’s Toys for Tots collection.

“Rather than doing a gift exchange, the children were given a chance to see what it means to give back to their community,” Mrs. Kim Phillips, Hepburn-Lycoming Elementary School guidance counselor and co-adviser for the Student Council, said. “This was a school effort, and the kids (kindergarten through fifth grade) were super with it. More than half of the student body was able to contribute along with faculty, and we collected over $1,000.”

“All new, unwrapped toys collected within Lycoming County were distributed within our county,” Charles E. Smith, Toys for Tots coordinator for the Williamsport Detachment of the Marine Corps League, said.

The toys were distributed on Dec. 20 to families with children in Williamsport Area, South Williamsport Area and Loyalsock Township school districts who are identified by the Salvation Army. The American Rescue Workers also distributed toys gathered at Toys for Tots collection points to other families in those school districts, Mr. Smith said.

Making the donation to Toys for Tots and doing so at the Little League Museum seemed appropriate, Mrs. Phillips said. “Little League is something our kids are involved in, and something their age group relates to. I think getting the museum pass gives a great opportunity for kids and their families to visit.”

Locally, thousands of toys have been supplied to hundreds of children during earlier campaigns, the coordinator said.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 in California and expanded to a national program in 1948. Walt Disney developed the logo that remains in use. The Williamsport program has been in effect since 1980. Mr. Smith said about 7,500 toys and 40 bicycles collected were given to 2,700 children last year.

The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum is located along Route 15, two miles south of Williamsport (15 miles north of Interstate 80). The museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

During the holidays, the museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It also will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26, and Wednesday, Dec. 27. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, and Friday, Dec. 29; and from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 30.

It will return to its normal winter hours on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, when it is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday; from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Additional information is available by telephoning (570) 326-3607.

Chuck Smith, local Toys for Tots coordinator, shows the students at Hepburn-Lycoming Elementary School the Toys for Tots logo, while speaking on the history of the program. Mr. Smith visited the school on Thursday to thank the students for their generous donation.
Janice Ogurcak, director of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, speaks to the student body at Hepburn-Elementary School on Thursday. Mrs. Ogurcak was on hand to thank the students for the donation of more than $1,000 worth of new toys for the Toys for Tots program. The Little League Museum was the collection site that the school selected as its drop-off point for the donation. Each student at the school will receive a free admission the museum.